Scripture: “But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’  Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” (James 2:18)

Observation: James is really challenging believers to “put their money where their mouth is” as the old saying goes.  Clearly we believe that a person is saved by faith in Christ alone and in HIS completed work on the cross.  There is nothing that we can do to add to that completed work – as far as our salvation goes.  However, what difference does being saved make in our lives?  Do we just sit and wait for Jesus to bring us home?  No!  Clearly we have work to do that God has prepared in advance for His saved people to accomplish (Ephesians 2:10).  And that work is not just for our benefit, but for the benefit of others as well.  Our life’s “work” becomes a “witness” to what we believe. James uses the Jewish patriarch Abraham to demonstrate faith in action as Abraham didn’t just say he believed in God, he demonstrated it by being willing to offer his son Isaac on an altar to God.

Application: How many times have I tried to hide behind my secure salvation?  It’s easy to do.  I’m taken care of.  I know that I will be in heaven on Judgment Day because of what Christ has done for me on the cross.  But do I use that as an excuse to not lift a finger of aid to another person? Do I perhaps even fear that by doing some good work I am undermining the work of Christ?  That would be a sad mistake, for to do so would violate many Scriptures which call me to action in Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit.   What might God be calling me to do today that will demonstrate my faith in Him – and bring Him glory?

Prayer: Lord, give me your eyes to see the work that you’ve prepared in advance for me to do. Help me willingly to do that work out of a firm faith in my saved relationship with you.  And when I do such good deeds, may it not be me doing them, but your Holy Spirit doing them through me, such that You receive all the glory.  Use me today, Lord.  Amen!